THOUGHTS ON CONCEPTS OF FREEDOM
It is paradoxical that most people who live in countries that supposedly are free and democratic give little thought to what the real concept of freedom is. When we look at the veracity of freedom, we can quickly conclude that few humans, if any, live in a free society. It would be much more correct to say that they live freely within a society that is governed by the social structures and orders imposed by its members. The very fact that free societies are governed by bodies of elected officials in itself reduces such a society to a structured entity, where freedom is restrained by the rules imposed upon it by its leaders and by religious or unwritten laws and cultural customs. Freedom is therefore relative to what is permitted and what is not and in the best of circumstances is a virtual freedom, a liberty that embodies the privileges and rights imposed by political, social , cultural, religious and economic circumstances prevailing at a given time. In any society, be it small and tribal by nature or large, encompassing a multitude of people, weather culturally and racially homogeneous or diverse, the need for rules and enforced acceptance of certain behavioural standards are requisite for cohabitation without pandemonium. The origin of such rules must have its heredity in the earliest antiquity of mankind at the time when adaptation of agriculture resulted in the establishment of more permanent settlements during the late Neolithic and early Bronze Age. The need for collective collaboration must quickly have become imperative so as to preclude dissonance, resulting in establishment of structures to govern life in the settlements. The freedom to act and behave as an individual became superseded and replaced by such rules as was indispensable to communal life. Freedom received its first curtailment. Even the most abstemious recluse does not have total freedom to behave with unreserved disregard of all things, for nature and the environment impose their own curtailments on freedom.
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